Drug Policy Reform Recap in the #NMLEG

Our friends at the Drug Policy Alliance worked their tails off during the 2015 New Mexico legislative session. They were working a number of great bills to reform civil asset forfeiture (it’s a much more serious and important topic than its banal name suggests), grow an industrial hemp industry in New Mexico, reduce marijuana possession penalties, along with many others. There were some setbacks to drug policy reforms as well, but for the most part it was a successful session where some major steps were taken toward creating more equitable and just drug policies. Check out DPA-NM’s final legislative recap below to catch up on the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Dear Allies, Advocates, and Friends,

The 2015 legislative session is complete! Thank you for following and supporting our work from start to finish!

Drug Policy in #NMLEG 2015 (Updates)

What’s going on with drug policy legislation this session? Well, there’s a lot of great (and not-so-great) drug policy legislation moving this session and we’ve copied the most recent Drug Policy Alliance legislative update below so you can catch up.  

But before you get there, check out what happened just yesterday regarding two important marijuana policy bills:
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would relax penalties for possessing certain amounts of marijuana possession Monday night by a wide 7-3 margin. The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Doña Ana, would reduce penalties for different amounts of marijuana. Read that story from Joey Peters at the Santa Fe Reporter HERE.

#NMLEG Progressive Bill of the Day | 1-30-15

A bright spot for progressives in the somewhat dim 2014 election was the successful passage of two marijuana decriminalization ballot questions in Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties. The questions passed by wide margins and, because of the size of those counties, more than 40% of all New Mexico’s voters weighed in on marijuana decriminalization. Now that the legislative session is back in full swing, drug policy reform is back in the spotlight and one New Mexico State Senator is trying to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana statewide (a similar bill passed the House in 2013 with bi-partisan support). Senator Joseph Cervantes’ SB 383 would  “[reduce] the penalty structure for possession of up to 4 ounces to a civil penalty with increasing fines while taking away the potential for jail time for any amount up to 8 ounces.” The Drug Policy Alliance came with this press release on the bill today:
Santa Fe, NM – Today, New Mexico State Senator Joseph Cervantes, representing Dona Ana County, introduced Senate Bill 383 to reduce penalties for adults who possess small amounts of marijuana.  The proposed legislation reduces the penalty structure for possession of up to 4 ounces to a civil penalty with increasing fines while taking away the potential for jail time for any amount up to 8 ounces.  Currently, in New Mexico, possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor crime with fines and possible jail time; over 1 ounce and up to 8 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor crime with large fines or possible jail time of up to 1 year.